Misano is his home race and consequently there is no lack of expectation surrounding him. Who are we talking about? It’s easy, of course it’s Valentino Rossi, who joined up with us as a guest on the eve of the GP for an exclusive, brand-new interview with our website.
"When I stop racing with MotoGP I would like to continue with bikes, even if a little more calmly - the Doctor said – put me down as a tester for GPOne".
With this quip, the #46 started off his own interview, and then immediately moved on to his future ambitions.
“In this period I have been thinking a lot about my career and the important thing is that I still have a great desire to race and lead the life of a sportsman, that is training, riding a motorcycle and comparing myself with other riders, going to the races. This made all the difference. The complicated things are represented above all by the level, which is very high, of our opponents, the top guys are very strong and being young is important. Furthermore, Yamaha's technical moment is not the best, and as a result there is a possibility that we have to suffer. At my age this could make a difference”.
Have you ever thought about continuing with other manufacturers or ending your career in Aprilia for example?
“My career started there. I do a bit like football players, who start from their home team, go around the world and return to play as a striker back home. My heart is always in Yamaha, I am a Yamaha rider, therefore I would like to end my career with them. It is very important to have a competitive bike, that is the most important thing. I never seriously thought about changing manufacturer, only about ending my career with Yamaha ”.
What do you think of this World Championship without Marquez?
“The fact that Marc is not there has shuffled the cards a bit, since he has won a lot of titles, dominating the last ones. In addition to Marquez, I believe there is a new generation of riders, like Binder, Oliveira and Quartararo, who come from Moto2 and who can give everyone a hard time, even Marc. Furthermore, the technical situation has changed from 2019, there are in fact now always three KTMs in the top eight, which did not happen last year. All this has led to a balance in the performance of the six manufacturers, which is incredible, and as a result everyone thinks they can win ”.
Honda without Marquez is reminiscent of Honda without Rossi…
"It's true! In my opinion the Honda is a very fast bike. There is no doubt that Marc is his greatest interpreter, they are in difficulty, also because the other riders are unable to be competitive. Honda and Yamaha are suffering, while KTM and Suzuki are the surprises. So all the balances are changing, even if Marc will be the man to beat when he comes back. "
Many observers think that he will no longer be the same as before…
“In these cases you have to see how you feel. An injury like this leaves marks on the body and mind. On the physical side you need to understand if you have discomfort when you ride the bike, while on a mental level if you have any fear. These injuries leave their mark on all the riders, even on me. The injury in Mugello was more serious, but Marc suffered more after the operation, as his plate broke and this is something even tougher. "
Talking about opponents, there are also young guys like Bagnaia and Morbidelli to bother you…
“I raised snakes in my bosom, I didn't think about this when we started (smiles). Then it went very well and maybe there will be others in MotoGP. I knew about the risk, but it's nice to have such fast Academy riders. As for the rivalry, we have to see how to manage each individual rider. I have a different relationship with Pecco to Franco. With Pecco I live it better, while with Franco I feel more the rivalry on the track, despite the fact that he is a friend of mine ”.
“Maybe it could happen that I will race with Luca in MotoGP, at the moment he is talking to Ducati, even if I don't know anything about this possibility or not. I'll have to race another two years (smiles) ”.
Going back to the World Championship, what do you think of all these closely-fought races?
“It's a strange, very unusual World Championship. You have to reason in this way: either you race or you don't race. Riders are never happy with triple races, as there is so much stress and fatigue, and the risks are greater. This year, however, this is the situation and I think they’ve organized a good championship. Maybe it would have been nice to have more tracks, but it’s better than not racing ”.